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B2B2E for Telecom Providers: What’s The Deal?

Posted on May 20, 2024 11:29:13 AM by Michael Matthews

B2B2E, which stands for Business-to-Business-to-Employee, is an emerging model that telecom providers are increasingly adopting as part of their service offerings. This model extends beyond the traditional B2B (Business-to-Business) services by not only serving the needs of a business client but also extending services directly to the employees of that client. It's a strategic approach that Communication Service Providers (CSPs) can use to deepen their relationships with corporate clients, enhance their service value, and expand their revenue streams. Let’s unpack how B2B2E developed, and why it's so important for today’s telecom to take advantage of. 

The Origins of B2B2E

At the outset, it all started with B2E, or Business-to-Employee. B2E refers to the transactions and services a business provides directly to its employees. The primary goal of B2E is to use internal digital platforms to offer products or services that benefit employees. For most companies this meant things like online insurance policy management, corporate announcement dissemination, or employee payroll and benefits reporting. However, in the context of telecom, B2E could also involve a company arranging for mobile plans, data packages, or IT services for its employees directly as part of their employment package.

Slowly, CSPs began to realize that the set of services they offer to their employees could also be provided to their business clients, which in turn could be used as a white-labeled service to their employees. Market demand for customized, integrated services was rising, as was the shift towards employee-centric benefits. Advancements in technology rose to meet these business needs, and thus, B2B2E was born. It represents a strategic adaptation by telecom providers to remain relevant and competitive by offering more value to both their direct clients (businesses) and the ultimate end-users (employees). 

Ultimately, the B2B2E model amplifies the benefits of B2E by offering more sophisticated, tailored, and often cost-effective services through strategic partnerships. In today’s B2B2E model, a CSP partners with a client business to offer employee digital acquisition, non-HR onboarding, and purchasing from a robust marketplace for CSP telco services, physical goods, and digital products. This online shopping offering can include a wide range of services and goods, such as mobile plans, data packages, cloud services, cybersecurity solutions, mobile devices, laptops, office furniture and more. This way everyone wins, as the business benefits from bulk deals or corporate discounts, which it can then offer as part of its benefits package to employees. In addition to the CSP’s traditional role in B2B (for example, service provisioning, billing, and customer support), they can provide the business with a B2B2E-centric engagement solution for management and employee use that in turn drives up the customer lifetime value of the business customer as well as the CSP's brand equity.

Why B2B2E Matters

What is the value of a B2B2E digital suite? In short, it’s because it aims to enhance customer lifetime value, maximizing the value of a business partnership across the lifespan of their relationship. How does it do that? The first reason is that it gives a CSP’s clients a business advantage. By offering exclusive deals or packages to employees as part of their benefits, businesses can enhance their overall value proposition to current and potential employees. This can be a powerful tool in talent attraction and retention strategies. 

In addition, B2B2E opens new revenue streams for CSPs. By extending services to employees of their B2B clients, they can significantly increase their user base and revenue without the cost of acquiring individual customers through traditional retail channels. Further, a B2B2E strategy that includes a digital marketplace can also create new revenue streams for CPSs by selling non-telco products alongside communications services and hardware. For instance, when a CSP client onboards a new employee, the CSP can mark up the costs of any office supplies (such as a desk and chair) they order along with the other telco equipment (such as broadband lines, internet services, and routers) that they need to get up and running. By earning a margin on these additional items, the CSP increases the revenue amount from the new user using a profit center that didn’t previously exist. 

The second reason B2B2E digital solutions provide advantages to CSPs is that it offers a relationship advantage. This happens through both internal employee and external client relationships. For internal employees, they benefit from discounted rates on telecom, IT services, and other digital (and non-digital) goods, which can improve their satisfaction and loyalty to their employer. Additionally, by providing high-quality, reliable services, CSPs can help ensure that employees have the tools they need to be productive, whether they're working from the office or remotely. 

Meanwhile, for external client companies, CSPs can embed themselves more deeply within their clients' operations through B2B2E, resulting in stronger, more fundamental business relationships. This kind of service can move the provider beyond a simple vendor to strategic partner status. 

The B2B2E Advantage

B2B2E digital communications represent a strategic evolution in how telecom providers approach the corporate market. By extending their services to the employees of their business clients, CSPs can unlock new value for businesses, enhance their own revenue opportunities, and contribute to greater employee satisfaction and productivity. This holistic approach to service provision aligns with the trends towards more integrated, employee-focused benefits and the increasing need for comprehensive digital solutions in the workplace.

To see how a B2B2E digital suite can work, click here to read an example of one in action.